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Gray Hairstreak   Strymon melinus

The Gray Hairstreak is a member of the family Lycaenidae and subfamily Theclinae.  This butterfly’s range extends throughout North America, southward through Central America and the northern part of South America.  It is a small butterfly with a wingspan between 7/8-inch and 1 3/8-inches.  It is usually found in open, non-forested sites and in disturbed weedy areas.  Adults feed on nectar from a variety of flowers including dogbane, milkweed, goldenrod and white sweet clover.

The Gray Hairstreak is a small grayish butterfly with a single tail on each hindwing. The upper surfaces are dark gray with a red or orange eyespot at the base of the tail on the hind wing.  The undersides are pale gray with a white and black line, sometimes with reddish-orange inwards of the black, across the middle of the wings and a red or orange eyespot at the base of the tail.  

Host plants include partridge pea, beggarweeds, milk peas, and cowpea.  Several generations are produced each year.  In north Florida, adults are found from February through November.  In south Florida, adults are found year round.

All of the photos on this page were taken in Deep Creek in Charlotte County.